Car enthusiasts have enjoyed a long and established relationship with the world of television. There can’t be many car lovers who haven’t fancied themselves as Bodie or Doyle behind the wheel of a Capri, or Gene Hunt as he fires up the Quattro with ‘Bolly’ by his side. Or perhaps it’s Inspector Morse in his Jag, Michael Knight in KITT or Starsky’s Ford Torino. Admit it, there’s a TV car you’ve always fancied driving.
But just how many of you have fancied taking the role as Richard from Keeping Up Appearances, the long running BBC sitcom from the early 90s? No, me neither, but I’m sure there’s literally one person who may have fancied touring the streets with Hyacinth Bucket, (pronounced Bouquet), or visiting her brother-in-law, Onslow. One of the show’s ‘highlights’ was watching as Hyacinth played the role as the world’s worst backseat driver, shouting commands at the downtrodden Richard as he nervously made his way around town. Central to this part of the show was an immaculately kept Rover 216 (SD3). Just how many of these do you see today?
The Rover 216 was the perfect car for Hyacinth. Quintessentially British, despite its Honda underpinnings, the 216 was the car for those who fancied something more up market than the Maestro or Montego. It’s probably aged better than the Maestro, has successfully passed through Bangerdom and is today, dare I say it, almost collectable.
Stick a copy of the Daily Express on the back seat, a tartan rug on the rear parcel shelf and a National Trust sticker on the rear window to complete the look. Then head to the coast to sip tea from your Thermos as you gaze out to sea, before heading back to your bungalow for David Dickinson’s Real Deal. You’ll be living the dream and you know it.
But these things are getting rare, so it was somewhat surprising to find not one, but two suitable cars that will allow you to play the role of Richard. All you need to do now is find yourself a Bucket…
First up is this time-warp (cliché!) Rover 216 SE. For sure, it’s a slightly different shade of blue, but with only one elderly owner from new and just 25,000 miles on the clock, it fits the Keeping Up Appearances role perfectly.
It comes with every MOT from new, an unused spare tyre in the boot and the original bill of sale. What’s more, it has some authentic scrapes and scratches on the bumper. Perfect.
At the time of writing this post, the bidding was only up to £165 with under three days to go. Surely worth a punt? Check out the eBay ad here.
Alternatively, if you fancy the same shade of blue, but can live without the 1.6 litre engine, how about a 213? This one has no MOT or tax, but it does come with a typically low mileage of 31,000 and looks pretty honest in the photos. The price is on application, but is apparently perfect for ‘those who admire the Rover’.
If you’re worried about the lack authenticity, what with this being a 213 and not a 216, I’m sure you could find a replacement badge on eBay. Hyacinth wouldn’t mind a bit of badgering if it meant she was keeping up with the neighbours. Check out the ad here.
But if playing the part of Richard is not for you, why not relive some ‘classic’ moments from the show itself. The Rover is quite the star!
Featured image courtesy of IMCDb.